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ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Review


ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Closer Look:

Unlike the LIVA X that was reviewed previously, the LIVA X2 now comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing pre-loaded, so it is ready to run out of the box. This allows a consumer to purchase the PC, take it home, and spend a few minutes to get a fully functioning PC in a matter of minutes. Windows 8.1 with Bing is just like any other Windows 8.1 version, however it's a zero cost option for PC manufacturers to include with the products to consumers. This version is targeted at lower-end computers in the sub-$500 range, and the only stipulation is that the PC manufacturer cannot change the default search engine from Bing to a third party. That does not mean you cannot change it after setup, so don't fret. That aside, it's a fully functioning version of Windows 8.1 Home Edition with no other limitations. This is not like the stripped down Windows RT we saw on tablets not long back. You even get a bonus with the ability to upgrade to Windows 10 if you should choose to do so, which we will look at in a bit.


There are a few programs included with the ECS LIVA X2 to help make maintenance tasks a bit easier. The first two are from ECS, which assist with keeping your BIOS and drivers up-to-date. The first is eBLU, which stands for Easy Bios Live Updater, and will go out and check the ECS repositories for the latest BIOS for your motherboard, in this case, the BSW-MINI. If one is found, it will download and install it for you with a few clicks. As you can see for the LIVA X2, it was shipped with the latest BIOS already, which is the American Megatrends version 2015/06/22. The second app included is the eDLU or Easy Driver Live Update, which again allows you to check the ECS stores for any outdated drivers. What this really does is send you to the page that the drivers are listed on, which in this case gave us a server error. This could be due to this product being so new.




The last included app is the Intel Graphics Control Panel, which is designed to give you maximum control over your video. This applet allows you to tweak resolution, color scheme, 3D settings, and more. You can adjust your color depth on the fly to make those videos pop out and give you a more rich media experience, which is what the LIVA X2 is designed for.



Finally, for the programs section we wanted to take the pre-installed OS and upgrade it to Windows 10. While Windows 10 has been out for a bit now, it still seems hard to get. To get the registration icon, you need to make sure your version is fully up to date, including recommended updates. Once you get the icon, pre-register. It will tell you that you have to wait, but here is a tip, you don't. Here is an article that I found that allows you to force the update and get Windows 10 immediately, should you so choose. We did this step to show you the results and it was not all that bad. The total process from download to install took about 70 minutes. Once complete, we had a fully working Windows 10 Mini PC. One word of note, however, if you have the lower-end 32GB eMMC, such as the one sent us for the review, upgrading to Windows 10 will cost you drive space. We upgraded a fresh image with no additional installed software, and when completed we only had about 1.8GB of free space out of the total storage. If you go this route, you will need to factor in the cost of adding an M.2 SATA drive to use and keep the eMMC as a spare.




Now with the programs and OS upgrade installed and done, how about we check what options the BIOS has for us.

  1. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Introduction & Closer Look
  2. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Closer Look: Continued
  3. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  4. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Specifications & Features
  6. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Testing: 3DMark, CrystalDiskMark, Gaming
  7. ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC Conclusion
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